Understanding AB 1751 and AB 2693
In September 2022, the Governor of California signed into law AB 152, which extends the availability of COVID-19 leave through the end of 2022. In addition to signing AB 152, the Governor of California also signed into law AB 1751 and AB 2693. Assembly Bill 1751 extended the law governing employees who contract COVID-19, whereas AB 2693 amended California Labor Code section 6409.6 to modify employers’ duty to inform workers of potential exposure to COVID-19. Read on to learn more about AB 1751 and AB 2693.
Understanding AB 1751
In February 2022, a Bill (AB 1751) was proposed that would serve to extend the COVID-19 presumptions for specific critical workers in workers’ compensation as originally enacted by SB 1159. Senate Bill 1159, which was passed in September 2020, created a rebuttable presumption for cases of COVID-19 acquired before July 5, 2020, for specific employees and during an outbreak. Under this law, workers who sustain COVID-19 during a COVID-19 “outbreak” at the workplace are assumed to have acquired an occupational injury, thus, are eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits. In the case of employers with no more than 100 employees, an outbreak is when four employees test positive for COVID-19 within two weeks. For companies with over 100 employees, it is when 4% of the workers reporting to work test positive for COVID-19 within two weeks. Lastly, an outbreak arises when a workplace is ordered to close due to a risk of infection with COVID-19.
AB 1751 was finally signed into law in September 2022. This law amends the expiration of the above-described provisions from January 1, 2023, to January 1, 2025.
Understanding AB 2693
On the other hand, AB 2693 made changes to the COVID-19 notification requirements. Specifically, AB 2693 amended California Labor Code section 6409.6. The Bill changed employers’ duties when it comes to notifying workers of potential exposure to COVID-19. AB 2693 also extended the provisions under California Labor Code section 6409.6 to January 1, 2024.
Before AB 2693 was signed into law, California employers who received notice of potential exposure to COVID-19 on their worksite were required to give employees written notice informing them that they might have been exposed to COVID-19. Under the new law, California employers can post a plainly-displayed notice on the worksite premises or an electronic worker portal instead of giving employees written notice. However, notices must still be filed within one business day of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
As it pertains to the information that must be contained in the worksite notice or on an electronic employee portal, the following is some of it:
- The date the employee who contracted COVID-19 case was on the worksite
- The location of the exposure
- Contacts for workers to get information about COVID-19-related benefits
Also, AB 2693 deleted the existing provision that required employers to notify the local public health agency in the event of an “outbreak.”
Contact a California Employment Lawyer
If you are a California employee and need help with an employment-related matter or help understanding more about AB 1751 and AB 2693, please contact a California employment lawyer near you.